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Monday, May 07, 2007

Pawlenty Vetoes Municipal Domestic Partners Bill

Outfront put out a press release:

May 7th, 2007

(St. Paul) Today Governor Pawlenty vetoed a bill that would have allowed local units of government the authority to provide health benefits to their employees at their discretion, including offering domestic partner benefits to GLBT employees.

“This is an outrage,” said OutFront Minnesota Executive Director Ann DeGroot.

“The governor doesn’t want to allow local units of government to be able to make these decisions for themselves. For him to oppose local control over local affairs is indefensible. This is a political move but unfortunately has a real effect on real families in Minnesota.”

Nope, the Governor is just kowtowing to the anti-gay activist organizations such as the Minnesota Family Council and Edwatch.

Governor Pawlenty is out of step with such organizations as The League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota Association of Small Cities who were among the many supporters of this legislation. He is also out of step with more than 250 companies in the state who offer domestic partner benefits including General Mills, Medtronic, and Best Buy.

The bill would have remedied a 1995 Court of Appeals ruling which determined that local governments lack the authority to expand their employee benefits beyond the bounds of explicit state law. The legislation considered during the 2007 session would have established full local authority over employee benefits.

“This veto is not good government,” said DeGroot. “It’s the state telling local governments what they can and cannot do. We thought the governor supported local control. The governor has chosen to make a political point over good public policy.”

OutFront Minnesota is an advocacy, public policy, and direct services organization for the GLBT and allied community.

Leading Minnesota Toward GLBT Equality. Celebrating Our 20th Year.